Policy Press

Publishing with Purpose

Statue of child on ladder reaching up


Big ideas logo

Books to change the way we think

Our ‘Big Ideas’ titles are intelligent, interdisciplinary books that present critical thought and evidence in a succinct and readable way to help to untangle contemporary social issues.

Published by both Bristol University Press and Policy Press imprints, these books aim to surprise, disrupt and change the way we think, addressing cross-cutting issues such as class, race, gender, politics and social inequality.

Aimed at thoughtful and engaged readers who want to challenge received opinion, these titles will help us to work towards a common cause of social justice.

Showing 1-12 of 27 items.

Radical Empathy

Finding a Path to Bridging Racial Divides

Renowned political scientist Terri Givens calls for ‘radical empathy’ in bridging racial divides to understand the origins of our biases, including internalized oppression. Deftly weaving together her own experiences with the political, she offers practical steps to call out racism and bring about radical social change.

Policy Press
  • ForthcomingHardback
  • ForthcomingEPUB

What Have Charities Ever Done for Us?

The Stories Behind the Headlines

What Have Charities Ever Done for Us? uses case studies and interviews to illustrate how charities support people and communities, foster heritage and culture and pioneer responses to crucial social, ethical and environmental questions.

Policy Press
  • ForthcomingPaperback
  • Currently not availableEPUB

The Mutant Project

Inside the Global Race to Genetically Modify Humans

An anthropologist visits the frontiers of genetics, medicine, and technology to ask: whose values are guiding gene-editing experiments, and what are the implications for humanity?

Bristol Uni Press
  • ForthcomingPaperback
  • ForthcomingEPUB

White Privilege

The Myth of a Post-Racial Society

Why and how do those from black and minority ethnic communities continue to be marginalised? Bhopal explores how neoliberal policy-making has increased discrimination faced by those from non-white backgrounds. This important book examines the impact of race on wider issues of inequality and difference in society.

Policy Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableEPUB
  • AvailableKindle

Life After COVID-19

The Other Side of Crisis

Edited by Martin Parker

Almost every aspect of society will change after the pandemic, but if we learn lessons then life can be better. Featuring expert authors from across academia and civil society, this book offers ideas that might put us on alternative paths for positive social change.

Bristol Uni Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableEPUB

Slow Computing

Why We Need Balanced Digital Lives

Is it possible to experience the joy and benefits of computing in a way that asserts individual and collective autonomy?

Drawing on the ideas of the ‘slow movement’, Slow Computing sets out numerous practical and political means to take back control and counter the more pernicious effects of living digital lives.

Bristol Uni Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableEPUB

Too Hot to Handle?

The Democratic Challenge of Climate Change

This book explores why climate is such a challenge for political systems, event when policy solutions exist. It argues that more democracy, not less, is needed to tackle the climate crisis, and suggests practical ways forward.

Bristol Uni Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableEPUB

The Shame Game

Overturning the Toxic Poverty Narrative

Drawing on a two-year multi-platform initiative, this book by award-winning journalist and author Mary O’Hara, asks how we can overturn the portrayal of poverty once and for all. Crucially, she turns to the real experts to try to find answers – the people who live it.

Policy Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableEPUB

The Happiness Problem

Expecting Better in an Uncertain World

The Happiness Problem shows that the illusion of control over our lives is too simplistic and can even be harmful. Sam Wren-Lewis offers an alternative: he proposes that we can connect with, and gain a deeper understanding of, the personal and social challenges that define our time.

Policy Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableEPUB

The Class Ceiling

Why it Pays to be Privileged

This important book takes readers behind the closed doors of elite employers to reveal how class affects who gets to the top. Drawing on 200 interviews across four case studies - television, accountancy, architecture, and acting – it explores the complex barriers facing the upwardly mobile.

Policy Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableHardback
  • AvailableEPUB
  • AvailableKindle

It’s the Government, Stupid

How Governments Blame Citizens for Their Own Policies

Governments conveniently blame social problems on their citizens, placing too much emphasis on personal responsibility. This book shows that ‘nudging’ citizens to better behaviour simply isn’t good enough and explains why we should hold our politicians responsible for social problems.

Bristol Uni Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableHardback
  • AvailableEPUB

The End of Aspiration?

Social Mobility and Our Children’s Fading Prospects

Duncan Exley draws on expert research and real life experiences – including from an actor, a politician, a billionaire entrepreneur and a surgeon – to issue a wake-up call to break through segregated opportunity. He offers a manifesto to reboot our prospects and benefit all.

Policy Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableEPUB
  • AvailableKindle